Girls Are Goofy

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As a boy I grew up – why I’m not sure – with very old fashioned chivalrous notions about women. I always gave up my bus seat, opened doors. Likewise older people. Probably nothing too special in the way of conditioning.

Though part of me has often felt that back then Savannah was wrapped in some warped bit of spacetime and imagined itself much given to gentility. Maybe I was investing the town with some imagined gentility in myself – though where it would’ve come from if not the local ethos I can’t guess.

In my late teens a female friend rebuked me for going out of my way for opening a door for her. Confronted I had to admit there was no sane reason for such gallantries.

It did cause sexism to register in my consciousness. Not very deeply. Clearly such notions were as baseless as racial prejudice. I let women stand. And while I still opened doors for people, gender didn’t impel me to do so more speedily.

After all females were just people. Their anatomy had more emphatic convexities and concavities. Merely a matter of biology.

As a teen I’d desired girls (and boys). It was becoming aware of the lustworthiness of boys that awakened my sexuality. I decided that I was gay (not bisexual) and spent my late youth and earliest manhood as a gay man. There was no place in my life for heterosexual dating rituals. My friendships with females weren’t complicated by strategies for screwing them. (Which I suspect gives ordinary male/female relationships much of their peculiar patterns.)

Those energies and calculations were invested in boys. Preferably feminine boys. I was a very sexist young queer. I got to be tall and strong and pamper nelly guys. Not that I wanted them to be girls. The first time someone expressed a wish to be feminized I was, well, shocked.

I don’t remember any of my heterosexual friends expressing silly opinions about women. None suggested that a female was less rational. One did let his wife do all the cooking and housework: I sometimes felt awkward around them because of this.

Talk on blogs, contemporary romantic comedies, the self-help books we sell tell me that sexist gender notions are still around in force.

Amazing how the dead won’t die.

I’ve owned to enjoying a bit of role playing with Alex. But we know recognize what we are doing as exactly that. And I do like shorter and smoother.

But I don’t confuse the playing with the other person’s fundamental nature.

I guess it is foolish to expect that centuries of social conditioning would be so easily swept away.

People still believe that God is in the heavens and girls are goofy.

Comments

I don’t understand why chivalry isn’t universal. Or rather - it at least shouldn’t be gender-based. Everyone should express these kindnesses - opening doors, giving up seats, etc - to everyone else. It’s just common courtesy.

I have often noted extreme gender-based chivalry at my work, particularly regarding the elevators. Men always allow me off the elevator first, or if we are boarding they will stand outside with an arm holding it open while I enter. This happens with doors too, but it is really bizarre with the elevators. And you know what? I let it happen. I don’t say “no, please go ahead” or “after you” or even “thanks, but you don’t have to hold it for me” because I feel that’s calling excess attention to it. If I take the time to call them out or insist they go first, that’s time out of both of our days. Although I do the same thing for others…so perhaps I am just expecting them to do it for me, too, and that’s why I don’t mention it.

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Thanks,
Richard

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